Skip to main content

Not All Supplements Are Created Equal

Why We Need Supplements?

Today’s diets are depleted of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients due to the decreasing quality of our food supply and busy lifestyles. Combining a healthy diet and dietary supplements is the best approach to achieve optimal health.

Food choices are based on convenience.

Modern lifestyles typically involve juggling work, family and other activities. This leaves little time devoted to quality food choices and meals, leading instead to selections based on convenience. These options tend to be higher in fat, refined carbohydrates and sodium and usually involve extensive processing to enhance taste, which can destroy or remove nutrients. Furthermore, higher amounts of these types of foods are associated with marginal micronutrient intake and low serum concentrations of vitamin A, E, C, B­12, folate and carotenoids. In a survey of almost 2,000 adults, the most important values in choosing a lunch were convenience and taste. Health was the least important value.

Enhance your nutrient intake by following these simple guidelines:

  • Choose nutrient dense foods
    Whole grains and brightly colored fruits and vegetables typically have high nutrient levels. Choosing lean, free-range sources of protein and fat, as well as organic foods is also important.
  • Preserve nutrients during cooking
    Avoid overcooking food to optimize nutrient retention. Whether baking, grilling, or steaming, fruits and vegetables should still be colorful and slightly crisp when consumed.
  • Buy fresh local foods –organic when possible
    Reducing the amount of times foods are in storage or transit helps to preserve the naturally occurring nutrients in foods. Less transit also means less CO2 generated in the atmosphere.
  • Take high quality nutritional supplements
    Choose a high quality, hypo-allergenic nutritional supplement brand that is free of fillers, coatings, binders, allergens, artificial colors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils or other excipients. These undesirable ingredients can diminish the bioavailability or health-promoting potential of the nutrients. Unlike foods, supplements also have the benefit of providing consistent levels of vitamins and minerals. For specific health concerns, it is important to choose supplements that reflect active ingredients and dosage levels used in studies. Ask your health professional for more information.

The American diet needs improving

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicates that only 40% of Americans ate the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The standard American diet is typically characterized by a high intake of: Saturated Fat, Red Meat, Refined Grain and Sugar.

It is also generally low in essential fats, which are critical for healthy cardiovascular function, inflammatory balance and cognitive support. Essential fats include: Omega-3 Fatty Acids (fish, flaxseed and walnuts) and Omega-6 Fatty Acids (vegetable oils, grains and seeds)

Americans typically consume a diet that has a ratio of 10:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Research indicated that an optimal ratio is closer to 3:1.

Facts about today’s food supply:

Consuming a balanced diet that meets the recommended servings of fruits, vegetable, whole grains, essential fatty acids and lean sources of protein still may not ensure ample nutrient intake due to changes in our food supply. A recent comparison study evaluated potential changes in the average nutrient content of 43 fruits and vegetables between 1950 and 1999 and found the following results:

  • 6% decrease in protein
  • 16% decrease in calcium
  • 9% decrease in phosphorus
  • 15% decrease in iron
  • 38% decrease in riboflavin
  • 20% decrease in ascorbic acid

Food quality changes like these are the result of multiple factors:

  • Storage time and maturity at harvest
    Nutrients can be harmed during storage or transportation. A 2004 study cited that storing tomatoes for 5 days decreased ascorbic acid by almost 13%. Harvesting plants prior to proper maturity diminishes nutrient content potential, particularly for fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and polyphenols.
  • Genetic selection
    Modern fruits and vegetables are genetically selected, and in some cases modified, for shelf life, high yield or other growth characteristics rather than their ability to extract or synthesize nutrients from the environment.
  • Atmospheric CO2
    An increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere, due to pollution, decreases the nitrogen, potassium, magnesium and protein content of plants.
  • Fertilization quality
    Fertilization of the soil with isolated key nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as opposed to more comprehensive fertilizers, can alter the composition of plants and lead to nutrient losses. For example, plants raised on  high-potassium soil have higher levels of potassium, but reduced levels of calcium and magnesium.
  • Growing region
    Differences in climate and soil type can cause large variations in nutrient content. Calcium0rich soil will produce plants higher in protein, while potassium-rich soils produce plants higher in carbohydrates. Regional rainfall can create wide variations in vegetable mineral composition, particularly for calcium, magnesium and potassium.
  • Farming practices
    Free-range animals produce meat with significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid. Dairy products made from grass-fed animals are also higher in vitamin A, E and beta-carotene. Feed-lot fed animals produce meat containing lower levels of these critical nutrients. Antibiotics fed to these animals can also result in altered probiotic profiles.
  • Industrial waste and contamination
    Chemical residues and industrial waste, including heavy metals, pollute the land, water and food supply. A 2004 analysis of 2,644 individuals found that “most people in the U.S carry a significant body burden of pesticides and pesticide metabolites,” with the average person testing positive for 13 out of 23 analyzed. Estrogenic compounds, such as DDT and its metabolites, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p-nonyl-phenol and bisphenol-A, are of particular concern.
    Credits: Pure Encapsulations

When you order your supplements from us, you will receive the highest quality, hypo-allergenic and most effective whole food and prescription-grade nutritional supplements available today.

Skip to content